How To Get A Job In Another State: Tips, Tricks, Full Guide [2020 Updated]

applying for jobs out of state

Getting a job out of state might not be as hard as you would think. We’re going to cover the steps to starting this job search process, what you can do to ensure you communicate your location to your future employer clearly, and ways that will make it easier.

Firstly, if you are a high profile candidate for the open position, asking for relocation might not be as challenging as you would think. Most employers will offer it up front. In the technology sector, especially cities like New York and San Francisco, relocation is a common occurrence.

Those cities have grown by nearly 80% just in the past few years due to the face that more employees are moving to those cities for work. That includes those who are from other cities and are getting relocated for new positions.

How Attractive Of A Prospect Are You

This is what’s really important to consider before you start thinking about applying for jobs out of state, how much experience do you have? If you have a considerable amount of experience in a particular job function, you're out of state application will be treated just like an in-state application.

Be honest with yourself about your experience level and your desirability. If you feel you are in this special class of professionals, asking for relocation is a simple task. All you have to do is ask the hiring manager, “Is it possible to get relocation assistance for this position?” That’s it!

If You Aren’t Experienced And Want To Relocate

This is where it’s important to be honest with yourself about your desirability to future employers. Because if you don’t have enough experience, there are a few tricks that will help you start the conversation about relocation. And a few prerequisites that are required in order for your application to be seriously considered.

Here’s what we need to go over regarding your application process:

When it comes to what needs to go inside your cover letter, it is advised that you place the reason for your desire to relocate. It’s important to understand that companies, HR departments and hiring managers need this information because they are often asked to relocate a potential candidate but have to terminate them very quickly due to the fact that the opportunity didn’t work out. And this causes damage to the business because they may have either compensated the employee for the relocation or considered the relocation an expense.

Because they want to minimize the risk of hiring a candidate that might not work, they are more strict in the interview process. As well as wanting to know the details regarding your desire to move.

When you put together your cover letter, be sure to include your reason for the relocation request. It can be as simple as, “My family is located in San Francisco, I’m moving back in June.” or it could be, “I’ve decided San Francisco is home. And I’m searching for my next opportunity.”

You don’t have to go through a long explanation. Keep it short. Keep it direct.

During The Interview Process

The interviewer is going to ask you why you are deciding to relocate. And they are going to want a little more information than what you included in your cover letter. Be prepared to have an answer to this question. The simpler you keep your answer, the more impactful it will be. Remember, relocation isn’t an uncommon request. You aren’t asking for the moon. When you keep your answer brief, it will sound more honest and genuine. Which is all the employer cares about.

What Address To Put On Your Resume

When you are thinking about what address you need to include on your resume or application, you might not want to include your current address. Though most correspondence happens by email or phone, you may want to reinforce the fact that you are moving. To do this all you have to do is make sure you include your current address and then the address that you are relocating to.

Related: Best Relocation Cover Letter Example

Here’s an example of what that would look like:

John Doe
123 North Street
New York, NY 11211

Relocating to:
John Doe
23 South Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

It’s a simple technique and can save you some headache as well as reinforce the fact that you are making the relocation regardless of the employers choice to proceed with your employment.

What About Your Phone Number

While other resources will tell you that employers are looking at your area code to try and decipher if you are local or not, this isn’t the case. Too many phone numbers have been created by cell phone carriers to keep track of this. Employers aren’t necessarily spending time looking up the area code and trying to do detective work to see if you are in-state.

Use your normal phone number and you’ll be fine. I’ve never once heard of questioning regarding an area code on a cell phone. The only thing you should be cautious of is temporary phone numbers or ones that have unique numbers like a Google Phone number. Don’t use those.

Are You Going To Be Able to Attend The Interview

This is the most important part of applying for jobs out of state, the fact that when you are asked to interview on-site, are you going to be able to attend? The phone interview stage will be quick and easy. But if you are invited to meet with the team, this usually means that you’ll have to pay for your travel. That would include the flight, hotel, and meals that go along with your stay.

Consider this similar to business travel, though this is not an expense that the employer pays for. Be sure that you have enough capital reserves or savings to fit this bill before you start applying for jobs out of state.

You won’t be offered employment until you complete the on-site interviews. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that. So be absolutely sure you are okay spending this money for the job opportunity.

Is There Any Different In Applying

If you are applying to multiple jobs, there’s no difference in the way that you go about doing it. You’ll still be trying to apply to as many targeted jobs that you can. And hoping that you get responses from them to start the interview process. By being out of state, there’s nothing that you should be doing differently with regard to your technique for getting interviews.

Be Prepared For More Questioning

It’s important to reiterate this part. Your interview process is going to be more strict than other candidates. It’s because you are out of state and looking for relocation. It will be imperative that you plan for your interview questioning to be more intensive than you might think. They will have more questions that relate to your knowledge of the company or your desire for wanting to be in the position and state itself. You’ll need to practice as much as you can on your delivery.

Afterwards, if those who spoke with you feel confident about your potential employment, the hiring manager will work with you on the relocation. They often give a budget for which they spend on moving companies and airline travel for you to get to the state. You’ll need to speak with them and work out what their relocation compensation is and factor that into your move.

Job Hunt FAQ

Questions from a job seeker about finding a career in another state.

As a recent graduate, should I be open to jobs in another state?

Absolutely. If you feel compelled to move to a new state, you should apply to open jobs anywhere you find it geographically appealing. Be sure to discuss the relocation package so that the new employer can cover the relocation expense associated with moving. As a recent graduate, this may be a significant sum for you.

Is the hiring process different for out of state applicants?

Yes, as an applicant out of state, you may be asked to take a video interview first, then they may ask you to travel to the office for your official job interview. Usually, in this circumstance, the prospective employer may cover your travel expenses. After this process, you may be on step closer to a job offer. But it could take a few more interviews before they fully decide.

Why should I consider new geographies as a job seeker?

Staying local could diminish your career opportunities. If you feel like exploring what might be available for you, you can always speak to a recruiter or hiring manager within a company. Just apply to a job opening, list your current address as part of your job application (which will put into motion your out of state hiring process) and see what they have to say. Make a decision from there.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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